The Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino opened in 1990 with a single tower. The original owner and operators were Marnell Corrao Associates. The Rio, as most people know the casino, started expanding just a few years after opening. Construction on the Masquerade Village and tower started in 1993 and opened in 1997. The Masquerade Show in the Sky was a hit when the section of the casino first opened but was closed recently due to lack of repair and interest. The Rio was purchased by Harrah’s Entertainment (now Caesars Entertainment) in 1999. The World Series of Poker moved to the Rio in 2005 after being purchased by Harrah’s.
The Rio is located just off the Vegas Strip on Flamingo Avenue next to the Gold Coast casino and across the street from Palms casino. Caesars Entertainment offers a free shuttle for guest at the Rio to their properties on the Vegas Strip (check current schedule for locations). When it first opened, the Rio was positioned as a property for Las Vegas residents.
After Harrah’s purchased the property it was seen as a national casino because of its affiliation with the national casino chain. It’s the only Total Rewards casino-hotel in Las Vegas located off the Vegas Strip. This tends to keep prices lower than other properties in the casino loyalty club food chain. Since becoming a national property Caesars Entertainment recently started to market the Rio to locals in addition to tourists.
One of the major differences when staying at the Rio is that there are no basic hotel rooms. This is an all-suite hotel so every room has more space than you would see in most entry level Las Vegas hotel rooms. The smallest suite is 600 square feet. Every suite includes a couch and floor to ceiling windows. There are two towers at Rio and many different suites offered between the two.
The original Ipanema Tower is located in the center of the Rio casino. The Masquerade Tower is off to the side in the cavernous, dark and quiet Masquerade section of Rio. The location of the towers should be a consideration when booking a suite at the Rio. Ipanema tends to be more crowded because of its location which can be good or bad, depending on your preferences.
The Samba suites are the most recently renovated rooms at the Rio. Some other suite options include deluxe, luxury, premium, super, penthouse, Masquerade, Carioca and Voodoo. Rio is pet-friendly and you can book rooms on specific floors that welcome your non-human family members. The separate Palazzo Villas have between 1 and 6 bedrooms and range in size from 3,900 to 13,950 square feet. These villas are the peak of luxury at the Rio.
Suites are typically more expensive than regular hotel rooms in traditional hotels. That’s not the case at the Rio since all rooms are suites. Basic suites start around $30 (plus $29 resort fee) before applying any discounts or offers that you have from the Total Rewards loyalty club.
Pools at the Rio
Rio has an impressive pool complex for an off-strip casino-resort. The VooDoo Beach pool is the first you’ll see when you enter the complex. The white sand beach area, palm trees, and waterfalls almost make this feel like a tropical escape. To not surprise, this is the largest and most popular pool at the Rio but there are more options.
The smaller fish pool, shell pool, and jacuzzis are all in the main pool area. Away from the action, you’ll find the Voo Ultra Pool & Lounge for guests 21 and over. The pool complex includes 2 bars, a snack bar, massage area and retail stand if you forget something in the room and don’t feel like heading back.
Rio recently refreshed many of its restaurants. Today you’ll find fresh and popular names that replaced previously faceless restaurants. One recent change to the buffet surely upset some regulars. There used to be two separate buffets – traditional and seafood – but they were merged into one buffet space with two prices. Additionally, some seafood options were removed from the traditional buffet to avoid overlap. Here’s a brief overview of all the restaurants at Rio:
- All-American Bar and Grille – Nothing fancy, just a good ole sports bar and restaurant
- Carnival World Buffet – One of the most popular buffets in Las Vegas
- Guy Fieri’s El Burro Borracho – Mexican dishes prepared with that special Guy Fieri touch
- Hash House A Go-Go – The famous twisted farm food restaurant is also your best bet for breakfast at the Rio
- KJ Dim Sum and Seafood – Authentic dim sum and fresh seafood
- Pho Da Nang Vietnamese Kitchen – Quick serve Asian food located right next to the sports book
- Royal India Bistro – One of the oldest restaurants in the Rio and one of the only Indian restaurants in a Las Vegas casino
- Smashburger – The quick serve burger chain is perfectly located near Kiss Mini Golf
- Sports Deli – Quintessential deli located next to the sports book
- Voodoo Steakhouse – High-end steakhouse with a gorgeous view from the 50th floor
The casino at Rio feels both large and small at the same time. The casino itself is over 100,000 square feet. However, it’s broken into sections so that there’s a more intimate feeling. The majority of the 1,200 slot machines are located in the Masquerade casino on the east side of the property. This side of the casino is dark and can feel eerie at times when it’s not very busy. Meanwhile, you’ll find many of the 350 video poker machines in a bright nook on the west side of the casino opposite the sports book.
In between the machine sections, you’ll find traditional table games like blackjack, roulette, craps and so on. The table games in the center of the casino are broken into small sections so it doesn’t feel as though you’re walking through a big box department store. The Rio is the home of the World Series of Poker and has a fourteen-table poker room that never closes.
- iBar – This ultra lounge is located in the front and heart of the casino at the same time
- Masquerade Bar – This bar has nearby free live music on Friday and Saturday nights from 9pm to midnight
- Purple Zebra – Get your favorite frozen cocktails and head out for some fun!
- Voodoo Nightclub and Lounge – Located on the 51st floor this indoor/outdoor space has great views of Las Vegas
- Wine Cellar and Tasting Room – This tasting room has over 10,000 bottles of wine to enjoy
The Rio has more entertainment than you might expect from a casino not located on the Vegas Strip. Not only do they have more entertainment, but they have more recognizable names than you might expect.
- Eddie Griffin Experience – The comedian performs his stand-up act from Monday-Thursday in the intimate 150 seat King’s Room
- Penn & Teller – One of the most well known magic acts in the world resides at the Rio. The Penn & Teller theater is huge with almost 1,500 seats on two levels. You can often find discounted tickets for the show because the room is so massive.
- Rock of Ages – The musical set in L.A.’s Sunset Strip in 1987 recently moved to the Rio. The heavy metal inspired show can be a bit raunchy so it’s not open to all ages. Children under 14 must be accompanied by an adult and children under 5 aren’t allowed.
- Adult – Chippendales has two shows nightly and X-Rocks has shows from Thursday-Sunday nights.
“KISS” by Monster Mini Golf – This 13,000-square-foot attraction for the rock band KISS features a glow-in-the-dark 18-hole miniature golf course, arcade games, a special event room, a KISS gift shop, a KISS museum and a rock ‘n’ roll wedding chapel.
Voodoo Zipline – The one minute and 10-second zipline ride is located outside of the VooDoo Lounge on the 50th floor of the Masquerade Tower. You’ll fly more than 800 feet to the Ipanema tower at speeds up to 33 miles per hour.
Must see items at Rio
- Visit Voodoo Lounge – Either eat dinner at the steakhouse or grab a drink at the nightclub. Whatever you do, make sure you go outside for a great view of the Vegas Strip.
- Stop at KISS – This band was created for Las Vegas and the monster mini golf course and attractions feel right at home.
- Take a dip at VooDoo Beach – The pool complex is easily one of the brightest spots at the Rio.
- See Penn & Teller – This is their home venue and there’s a good chance you’ll be able to meet the guys after the show.
- Play a few hands of poker – You many not play in the WSOP but you’ll be able to tell everyone back home that you played at the home of the World Series of poker.
Rio Loyalty Club
Caesars Entertainment owns and operates Rio. Their loyalty club, Total Rewards, is one of the largest casino loyalty clubs in America. It’s also one of the easiest loyalty clubs for you to earn points and credits to use in a casino.
Total Rewards is one of the few national casino loyalty clubs. Caesars Entertainment operates properties from Atlantic City to Las Vegas and all around the country. Therefore, you’re not limited to earning and using points and credits in Las Vegas. You can earn points and credits at any Caesars Entertainment casino and use at Rio in Las Vegas.
Additionally, you don’t even have to visit a casino to earn Total Rewards points and credits. This is unlike most Las Vegas casino loyalty clubs. Points can be earned through various partnerships that range from online shopping to social games.
Total Rewards can be slightly confusing since you earn two different types or points at two different rates. Tier credits are the points earned that allow you to climb status to earn specific benefits. Rewards points are earned and can be redeemed for shopping, dining, etc.
Here’s a look at the different tier levels and how many credits you’ll need to achieve the coinciding benefits:
- Gold – Entry Level, everyone starts here
- Platinum – Earn 5,000 Tier Credits
- Diamond – Earn 15,000 Tier Credits
- Seven Stars – Earn 150,000 Tier Credits (Invitation only)
You can earn Tier credits and Reward points from spending money on gaming, dining, entertainment, hotel rooms, shopping, spa treatments and golf at any Caesars Entertainment property. Here’s how to earn both Reward points and Tier credits:
- Slot machines – 1 Tier Credit for every $5 you play
- Video poker – 1 Tier Credit for every $10 you play
- Table games (blackjack, three card poker, etc.) – Varies on the type of table game you are playing, your average bet and how long you play
- Poker – Varies on the type of game you are playing and how long you play
- Hotel, dining, shopping, etc. – 1 Tier Credit for every $1
You can earn an additional Tier Credit bonus when you reach certain milestones each day. If you earn:
- 500 Tier Credits in one day, receive 125 bonus Tier Credits.
- 1,000 Tier Credits in one day, receive 1,000 bonus Tier Credits.
- 2,500 Tier Credits in one day, receive + 5,000 bonus Tier Credits. (Double bonus = Diamond status in a day)
- 5,000 Tier Credits in one day, receive 10,000 bonus Tier Credits. (Diamond status in a day)
Tier credits reset to zero on January 1 since Tier status must be earned each year to maintain your status for the following year.
Each tier you reach with Total Rewards brings greater benefits. The benefits are minimal for Gold and Platinum but really kick in when you reach Diamond. If you only visit Rio once every now and again just having the entry level card is good enough for a small discount.
If you visit Las Vegas more often, then you’ll want to consider the upper tiers. The resort fee deduction alone might make reaching Diamond worth the spend. Here’s a look at the benefits for each level of Total Rewards.
- Room discounts, special offers and more based on your activity
- Turn Reward credits into free play at a rate of $1 per 200 Reward Credits ($5 increments, up to $500 each day)
- Earn Great Gift Wrap-Up points at select properties
- Special member pricing at participating restaurants
- Exclusive pre-sale access for select shows
- Everything from Gold plus
- 15% discount at casino gift shops
- Gift up to 5,000 Reward Credits to a friend (limit of two transfers per year)
- Everything from Platinum plus
- No resort fees! (Currently up to $32 per night)
- Priority lines at hotel check-in, restaurants, casino cages and the Total Rewards Center
- Access to Diamond Lounges
- VIP Reservations Hotline
- Guaranteed Room with 72 hours notice in Las Vegas
- 15% off best available advertised rate on rooms and suites. (You’ll sometimes receive complimentary room rates at this level)
- Annual celebration dinner of $100
- 20% discount at casino gift shops
- Discounts at Total Rewards golf courses
- Turn Reward Credits into free play at a rate of $1 per 175 Reward Credits ($5 increments, up to $500 each day)
- Everything from Diamond plus
- Complimentary room (must give 48-hour notice)
- Upgrade to best available room at check-in
- Complimentary early check-in / late check-out
- Annual celebration dinner of $500
- Companion Card for a friend to enjoy your benefits
- Annual retreat to any Total Rewards property
- Invitation to Signature Events
- Seven Stars Signature Experiences eligibility (based on current year’s Tier score)
- 25% discount at casino gift shops
- Turn Reward Credits into free play at a rate of $1 per 125 Reward Credits ($5 increments, up to $500 each day)
Total Rewards partners
Total Rewards offers its members benefits that extend beyond Caesars Entertainment hotels and casinos. You can earn and use points and credits with a group of outside partners. The changes often but includes Norwegian Cruise Lines, Hertz car rentals, Hawaiian Airlines, Atlantis Paradise Island, Starwood Hotels, Caesars Online Casino, Caesars’ Total Rewards credit card and more.
Total Rewards connects 40 casinos around the country including these Las Vegas casinos:
- Caesars Palace
- Paris Las Vegas
- The Cromwell
- Planet Hollywood
- The Linq
Total Rewards online
Total Rewards was one of the first casino loyalty clubs to go online. The website is constantly evolving and offers a better user interface each time. It’s not perfect, but the Total Rewards website is better than other casino chains.
Since Total Rewards was one of the first to go online, it should be no surprise that they were one of the first with a mobile app. Today’s Play by TR app is one of the most useful casino and loyalty club apps. The app offers information on your Total Rewards account including points and offers while also including information on all Caesars Entertainment hotels, casinos, restaurants, shows, nightlife and more.
The Play by TR app is on of the most useful Las Vegas apps. It replaces the need for nine individual casino apps. The app is easy to use and has everything you’d want in a casino and loyalty club app.
Total Rewards best bets
- Sign up – You receive discounts on hotel rooms and some restaurants just for signing up.
- Go Diamond and skip resort fees – If you plan on visiting Las Vegas more than once a year the complimentary resort fees are a legitimate value.
- Go Diamond and skip the long lines – Priority service is everything in Las Vegas. Skip lines at check-in, some restaurants, casino cashiers and the Total Rewards desk.
- Upgrades – Hotel room upgrades are often available to higher tier members. Free upgrades are great but getting exactly the hotel room you prefer is a perk not everyone will see.